The London Evening Standard’s groundbreaking ‘Ladder for London’, initiative, designed to help London’s soaring number of out-of-work youths, has already created an unprecedented 400 apprentice jobs in the Capital.

After just six weeks, 126 companies have pledged to recruit 431 apprentices from campaign partner City Gateway, including Sainsbury’s, which has today announced 50 new jobs, making the supermarket the second biggest subscriber so far. This follows a recent pledge from MetroBank to take on 150 apprentices, while Goldman Sachs, the first to join the campaign, has already placed 10.

London Evening Standard’s ‘Ladder for London’ campaign encourages companies across the Capital to appoint one or more apprentices over a year, employing them after a year of pre-apprentice training with campaign partner, City Gateway.

Apprentices are trained to work in entry-level positions, including customer service, IT, human resources, marketing or sales. There are also apprenticeships specialising in sports and fitness coaching.

Companies are being offered attractive incentives for hiring apprentices, including a government-funded £1,500 grant and acknowledgement in the paper or on the website.

The launch of ‘Ladder for London’ in September followed a hard-hitting investigation by the London Evening Standard into young adult unemployment in the Capital. The initiative is designed to encourage Londonbusinesses to take on paid apprentices.

The campaign follows the London Evening Standard’s highly successful and award-winning Dispossessed and Get London Reading campaigns and its partner, City Gateway, is a Tower Hamlets social enterprise regarded as the gold standard for apprenticeships.